YMCA of Metro Atlanta to launch Community Needs Assessment at South DeKalb Branch

A map of DeKalb County, GA. Image obtained via Google Maps

Atlanta, GA –  The YMCA of Metro Atlanta announced in a press release the launch of a wide-reaching Community Needs Assessment for its South DeKalb branch in an initiative designed to align Y offerings with community needs.

Beyond COVID-19 relief, recovery programs, and select youth programs, the location will remain temporarily closed during the assessment. The request for proposal process will launch in April and community input will be sought as part of the process. Results are expected by late August/early September.

Over the last decade, the South DeKalb Y has seen dwindling membership, youth program and partnership numbers. Between 2011 and 2019, the branch has witnessed declines in family membership (-31%), adult membership (-40%), and programs – afterschool (-83%), youth basketball (-71%) and youth soccer (-63%).

From the late 1980s to the early 2000s, the South Dekalb Y was a bustling and thriving segment of the community. The location is where the YMCA of Metro Atlanta first launched its afterschool and early learning programs. The Community Needs Assessment is intended to reinvigorate the South DeKalb Y and serve as a true community resource center.

“At the Y, we hold ourselves to a high level of reach and impact in every community we serve,” said Lauren Koontz, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metro Atlanta. “Launching the Community Needs Assessment will allow us to truly understand what programs the community wants, needs and will use.”

Throughout the pandemic, the Y has provided childcare for front line workers and food distribution at the South DeKalb Y. The location will continue to offer targeted programming during the Community Needs Assessment to assist with COVID-19 recovery response.

“Our desire to be both a community anchor and a solution-oriented organization focusing on the needs of South DeKalb residents remains steadfast,” said Koontz. “We will invite and engage a broad spectrum of residents, civic groups, churches, educators and elected officials to participate in the process and we look forward to their input and the results of the study.”

During the Community Needs Assessment, South DeKalb Y members will have access to all Y locations across metro Atlanta and are encouraged to visit and enjoy nearby branches, including those closest: Wade Walker Family YMCA, East Lake Family YMCA and Decatur Family YMCA.

For additional information about the Y, including branch locations, members can visit ymcaatlanta.org.

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